Losing weight is a struggle for many, regardless of age, size or gender. Perhaps one of the toughest areas to lose those extra pounds is around the middle. Not only is this weight uncomfortable, it can be potentially dangerous. Excess belly fat is connected with health problems such as high cholesterol, diabetes and high blood pressure. Minimising your waist size can help reduce your risks for these and other health problems. Be aware that spot reduction in one place even with exercise is not easy, and generally overall weight loss is required to reduce waist size.
Measure your waist to set a goal for size reduction. Wrap the measuring tape snugly around the smallest part of your stomach. There is no one ideal size for any waist, only what is proportional to your body. Be realistic with your expectations to ensure that you will continue to work at reduction until you reach your desired goal.
Introduce abdominal exercises to your regular workout. This includes stomach crunches, but also Pilates, yoga and weightlifting. Any activity you can do to tone the muscle in this area will reduce fat and help you lose inches around your waist.
Eat foods with monounsaturated fats. These include oils, avocado, olives, unsweetened chocolate, nuts and seeds. According to "Prevention" magazine, you should consume at least one serving of these foods with every meal. Along with exercise and portion control, these foods help you flatten your stomach and reduce the size of your waist.
Cross train to meet your whole body's health goals. For example, add bike riding or swimming to your abdominal workout routine. Focusing on only one part of your body, in this instance the waist, is not very realistic for your fitness regime. If you really want to lose weight around the middle, you should also focus on exercises aimed to firm and tone your legs, arms, buttocks and hips.
Choose clothing that fits higher than your natural waist. For example, empire-cut blouses and dresses create the illusion of a waistline directly below the bust. This enhances what is likely the thinnest part of a woman's torso. This does not reduce your waist size, but makes your waist appear trimmer.